The (Big) Business of Cyber Monday

by Jordan Richardson on November 26, 2012

With American Thanksgiving in the dust and Black Friday over and gone, the time has come once again to unleash the busiest online shopping day of the year: Cyber Monday. As people around the world scramble for gifts in time for the holidays, online shopping once again becomes the focal point of millions and millions.

According to research firm ComScore, this year’s Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row. Americans are expected to spend about $1.5 billion today, up 20 percent from last year’s numbers.

The usual online retailers will be offering significant discounts, with Amazon once again expected to be the top of the mountain for most when it comes to shopping destinations. The online retailing giant will start its Cyber Monday deals at midnight on Monday, with reported deals like a 60 percent discount on a Panasonic VIERA television in the running. Sears will also be among those competing, while Kmart is in the fray with a reported 75 percent discount on diamond earrings.

It’s no secret that holiday shopping is a big deal for retailers, especially in the United States. Stores make up about 40 percent of the yearly sales during this season alone, so competition is fierce and the rush for your dollar is immense. Cyber Monday is yet another opportunity in a series of them and there will be some incredible deals to be found if you’re into that sort of thing.

And with more connectivity than ever, people are able to shop from just about anywhere with tablet computers, phones, smartphones at their disposal.

This means that Cyber Monday will probably only become bigger with the passage of time, possibly even eclipsing Black Friday not only in overall sales but in popularity. After all, who in their right mind would stand in line for a flatscreen when they can rest comfortably in their PJs and get a better deal?

Thus far in the holiday season, ComScore’s numbers reveal that about $13.7 billion in holiday spending has taken place so far this season alone. That’s 16 percent up from last year’s spending, which is compelling when one considers not only the reality of the economic downturn but the record debt levels many households find themselves in. What that says about our culture is left for the reader to ponder.

It’s also interesting to note that more people are turning to online shopping in the days prior to today’s Cyber Monday fun. ComScore reports that online sales on Thanksgiving Day were up 32 percent from last year, while Black Friday sales were up 26 percent from last year. Maybe more people were staying home rather than braving the elements after all.

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